And speaking of the Nordics, let’s not forget Iceland, which went spectacurlarly bankrupt during the financial crisis but which has now come out of it refocused on its core businesses: geothermal energy and fishing. China -- which signed a free-trade agreement with Iceland in 2013 -- sees both of those as crucial, the former to help deal with domestic pollution and the latter to feed its people. So watch for action among Iceland’s pelagic fishing concerns, like Sildarvinnslan, as China attempts to improve Arctic position.
It’s impossible to avoid reaching for puns about Colder and Coldest Wars in discussing this subject. But given that military activity looks to be, for the moment, a winning economic driver in the Arctic, perhaps such gibes are quite appropriate.
Sam Munson is managing editor of The Octavian Report.